Our Lady Of Charity Of Cuba
Year : 1936
In the mountains outside Santiago in Cuba is an old pilgrimage church, “Nuestra Senora de la Caridad”—“Our Lady of Charity”. It is the national shrine of Cuba. A few hundred years ago, three sailors were shipwrecked, drifting in a small boat on the roaring ocean. Our Lady appeared to them. They invited her into their boat and rowed her to shore. She indicated the place where she wanted a church, near the copper mines outside of Santiago.
The Village of Cobre, where the shrine is, is surrounded by high hills that roll back to the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The village is named Cobre because of the rich deposit of copper. A lamp of copper is kept burning before the statue of Our Lady. Twice the statue mysteriously disappeared and returned just as unaccountably. In each case Our Lady indicated where richer deposits of copper could be found.
In 1936 after the completion of a beautiful church in honor of Our Lady of Charity, the statue was solemnly crowned amid great rejoicing and religious festivity.
The shrine has much of old-time charm. Literally hundreds of lights burn before the shrine’s statue. Our Lady is dressed richly in silken garments; she is dark like a Cuban girl with a sun-tanned Infant on her arm, smiling down on her brown Cuban children, who come to her in great numbers and with great confidence. The prayers of centuries seem to hang down from the walls in heavy folds. It is a place where prayer comes easily, and its answer seems to be a matter of course.